PhotoHunter: “Rock”

My “rock” is part of the Canadian Shield. The Canadian Shield (aka the Precambrian Shield, or Laurentian Shield) is the Precambrian rock that covers about 8 million square kilometers of Eastern and Central Canada. It is comprised of some of the world’s oldest rock, dating back approximately 4.5 billion and 540 million years.

Some of that Pre-Cambrian rock.

Some of that Precambrian rock.

Over successive ice ages, mountains (including some volcanic) as high and awesome as the Rockies have been scoured down to bare rock over which lies boreal forest. You can find evidence of the last ice age all over the place.

The view of the Laurentian mountains from Mont Tremblant, Quebec

The view of the Laurentian mountains from Mont Tremblant, Quebec

In the photo below, you can see the edge of the Shield where it is cut off by the Ottawa River Valley, a great, wide valley which extends from the St. Lawrence River in the east and swings west and then northward towards Hudson Bay. It is a rift valley, formed when the bedrock dropped down tens of kilometres deep. Several major fault-lines run through the area and we experience frequent earth tremors, as a result.

View from the Champlain Lookout

View from the Champlain Lookout, in the Gatineau Hills

The edge of the Shield which bounds it on the northern edge rises up about 300 metres.

Parts of the Shield extend down into the US.

The Ottawa Valley and Canadian Shield

The Ottawa Valley and Canadian Shield

The Ottawa River Valley

The Ottawa River Valley

The Ottawa Valley was once part of the great Champlain Sea, a huge brackish inland sea where whales once swam. The Champlain Sea formed when the great ice sheets of the last ice age pressed down on the land and when the melted, the Atlantic Ocean flooded in. When the last of the ice was gone, the continent tipped back and the water flowed out, again.

Drat! PhotoHunter Addendum…. Walking

It wasn’t until I visited someone else’s blog that I remembered that I used to spend a whole weekend (Labour Day Weekend) walking up and down and up and down a very long beach on the Upper Ottawa River, near Fort William, an old Hudson’s Bay trading fort.


My friend Kelly’s family owned a cottage above the beach and we would go every Labour Day Weekend there. The spor has a long, wide sandy beach which was a long-used stopping point and hunting area for te Algonquin Indians who migrated up and down the Ottawa River in days gone by.

As a result, you can find arrow heads and the odd piece of pottery left long ago by the Natives. Down near the fort, you find thousands of shards of dishes from either the fort or the Fort William Hotel which stands next to the fort, as well as broken bits of old clay tobacco pipes.

Pot Sherd, arrowheads and flakes

Pot Sherd, arrowheads, scrapers, and flakes

On the far left, above, there is a small sherd of low-fired pottery. The two pieces to the right of that are a part of what appears to be a spear point and below that, a complete arrowhead. The three in the centre are scrapers, and the 7 pieces on the right are flakes from the making of points and scrapers.

One summer, I was wading and started to slip on a rock. I grabbed hold of a piece of metal pipe sticking up out of the water. It came up in my hand and I discovered that it was the barrel of an old Hudson’s Bay trade flintlock. I still have it somewhere. You can tell from its distinctive six sided shape and the lead inlay around the barrel.


Sunset, Fort William boat-landing

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